We have to assume that George Lorimer, journalist, and publisher, knew what he meant when he said, “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.”

When you know what you want but don’t have the right setup to achieve tasks, your determination can waver.

Project management software is a straightforward solution for anyone—especially individuals—in any industry, who are seeking to optimize their workflow and capitalize on their time, energy, and resources.

Common problems faced by individuals when managing projects

It doesn’t matter whether you are working in a team or as an individual— you face challenges that hinder your workflow.

Some of the common challenges are:

  • Inefficient data management and reporting
  • Improper benchmarking
  • Embracing uncertainty
  • Inadequate risk management
  • Lousy self-management

Let’s see how depending on a work OS to help you tackle the above might be beneficial.

How to use project management software to master your workweek as an individual

Automate data analysis and reporting

Manually converting data into meaningful information is a laborious task, especially when we need fast and reliable reports to monitor unexpected changes.

By automating data reporting, one can generate useful and easy-to-understand reports that are ready to share.

Why should you automate? 

Some of the highlights that you can look forward to using are, customizable visual dashboards, like Gantt charts, Kanban, and pivot view for better management of workflow and deliverables.

You process visual information 60,000 times faster and retain 90% more when compared to text and the variety of charts mentioned above helps you with the same.

You can then use previous weeks’ performance metrics to reduce human errors, save time and identify what is lacking in the upcoming week.

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Concentrate on the right KPIs

Use KPIs to evaluate your effort from previous weeks and compare progress easily.

KPIs are engineered to narrow your focus so you can make better decisions about strategies that need to be refined or abandoned.

Source

Which KPIs should you focus on?

For a favorable outcome, an individual should consider these suggested KPIs:

The completion rates of projects

Have you met the deadline? How many times did you fix a problem? How much time is spent per task?

How satisfied are your clients?

Whether you are in the B2B or B2C space, make use of surveys to determine opportunities for growth. ROI is a key metric that directly helps you translate your efforts into measurable financial gains

Utilize S.M.A.R.T micro-goals.

Innovators in any industry make use of S.M.A.R.T micro-goals aligned with your KPIs to design objectives and produce key results.

Chris Mason, an innovative senior director at Sears Holding Company, used S.M.A.R.T micro-goals to validate the time, energy, and resources spent.

In 2013, he masterminded an OKR strategy to improve sales (long-term goal) through increasing sales per hour (micro-goal). Sales increased by 8.5% – from $ 14.44 per hour to $ 15.67 an hour and overall opportunity gain increased by 11.5%. Win-win!

Chris did this by creating a metric to measure the performance of an operation and implemented a strategy that was achievable and realistic by simply keeping track of time and sales – i.e micro-goal setting.

An example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal that expands upon just “I want to start a business” could be:

“Within a month, I am going to get set up to sell handmade cards on Etsy, which will allow me to benefit financially from my favorite hobby. Within six weeks, I will have an inventory of 30 handmade cards to sell and aim to sell a minimum of five cards per week, building customer relationships through word of mouth, referrals, and local networking.”

Setting such goals ensures that the individual experiences fewer delays, avoids distraction, and makes it easier to recognize actionable steps that push you to reach a larger agenda.

Avoid communication oversights

Oversight in communication is a run-on problem for many as it disrupts industries where imparting knowledge and expertise is essential.

Most of us use different applications to store data (GDrive or Dropbox), communicate via text and video (Slack, Zoom, Hangouts, Skype), and even regular emails.

Having a centralized platform for everything communication empowers you by letting you not miss any notification and allowing you to scale. It also creates an environment for organized, accountable, and transparent communication with your teams, partners, and clients.

Use a risk register 

Business and risk go hand in hand. Take the time to identify and assess the risk in your model by using a risk register to manage projects.

A risk register is a valuable project management tool because it presents tasks and allows you to identify upcoming weekly threats to projects that are most at risk of failure and what possible failure might look like.

You can then analyze the probability and scale (low, moderate, or high) of failure and measure the effect it will have on all operations.

Make a contingency plan

In a time of crisis, people often stop to question “Why didn’t I plan properly?!” By then it’s too late and the stress is unavoidable.

Project management software like monday.com help to embrace uncertainty as it offers you a space to track, and report disruptions. You can then design contingency plans for possible changes so even when crises come knocking at your door, the outcome is still rewarding.

How do you use a Work OS to make contingency plans?

Contingency plan example in monday UI

Use features for workflow organization to design step-by-step strategies to mitigate risk, by:

  1. Determining what you need to complete a task
  2. Identifying the potential risk of failure at each stage
  3. Evaluating the likelihood of failure

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Project management software as your teammate

As an individual, it can be hard to organize and keep track of your unique workflow. A Work OS like monday.com is built to centralize all of your priorities in one place, whether they are in tomorrow’s iteration or the distant future.